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Monday, February 19, 2018

Shooting off a Meme about the Florida School Shooting


I was on one of my FaceBook lists and there was a conversation about a meme. The Meme was of a Tee that said:

Dear G-d, [G-d spelled out on the Meme/Tee]

Why do you allow so much violence in our schools?
signed, a concerned student

Dear Concerned Student.
I'm not allowed in the schools
G-d [again, spelled out on the Tee]

It's so funny (as in ironic) that so many people are trying to find the answer. But there is no easy answer to evil in general, to school shootings to get more specific, or this precise school shooting. It's not that G-d isn't around, isn't allowed there. It's that, in order to give us free will, freedom of choice, G-d had to permit evil to exist, the evil that people do. 

There are several different elements to the discussion that I'd like to address:

1) The issue of Gun Control Laws: 

The issue isn't whether availability of the gun made this easier. Gun issues are a separate matter, IMHO -- to be honest, even though I'm a "dyed-in-the-wool" "card-carrying" Liberal, I don't believe that gun control laws, in any form, have the power to prevent all these sorts of attacks. I do believe that there should be some sort of gun control but we can never, as our current national ethos is today, keep guns out of everyone's hands.

2) The issue of school size:

More of an issue is that schools are becoming factories where the state (or municipality) is trying to educate as many students as possible in as big a building as possible. Why do we need to have mega-schools? 

I went to an elementary school that had fewer than 100 students and a High School that had something like 250-300 students (all girls). I knew everyone, teachers, students, principals (well, I spent enough time in their offices), office staff, custodians. If someone came in, we had a loud bell at the door during school hours. If a new student came in she was introduced to classmates. If someone who didn't fit came in and didn't go directly to the principal's office (which was right near the door) we all would have noticed. I didn't even know there were such huge schools as there are today.

3) The issue of Religion in the Schools:

Religion not being in the school doesn't affect all this. Which religion would be in the school? Why don't we teach morality? Does the Meme-ist consider Torquemada to be very moral since he was religious? Does (s)he think no one ever hid behind religion as an excuse to murder people?  

From my perspective, murder is no more the purview of the "godless" (irreligious, atheistic, agnostic) than of  religions and religious people. Being "religious" (as in piously following your religion) doesn't guarantee morality -- religious laws and Bible quotes and verses have been perverted by so many that often enough people fall back on religion to justify their evil. Religion doesn't insure morality. Lack of religion doesn't necessarily lead to immorality. 

4) The issue of politics of the shooter:

Why does it matter what the boy's politics are? So many run to this -- as if his being either a radical "leftist" or a fascist would explain it all (particularly if you are on the "other side of the fence" politically). Neither side has a corner on the truth market nor on the crazies market. 

5) The issue of pressure put on HS students (particularly boys) to plan their future:

In our white-male centric country there is often a perception, particularly among white non-minority males, that they are owed something, that it's the responsibility of their teachers, the government, or who/whatever to supply them with a menu of futures to choose from. They shouldn't have to exert themselves, they often believe, to be the "alphas" -- they are born with that right. We are raising a generation of spoiled young men who feel a strong sense of entitlement. 

But study after study has shown that  the givers are happier than takers. These boys grow up not doing much for themselves and get to the age where they need to start "doing something" and when their expected windfall doesn't come, they blame blacks, and Jews, and women, and Latinos, the government, the civil rights movement, everyone and everything but themselves. Perhaps the education system is failing them by not training them to rise to their highest level and perhaps we need to instill in our young people the need to, as we used to say in the 60s, "find themselves" and create a life for themselves.

So, while some say there are too many guns that are too available and others say not enough "law-abiding" people have guns, I present this as a plan for preventing these shootings (which are overwhelmingly committed by young white males):

1) Gun licenses for gun ownership with tests like driver's license: 

Just like people can't get a driver's license until they prove they can handle a car (such as it is), perhaps we shouldn't allow anyone who hasn't proven they know how to shoot a gun to own one. The test for the license might also be used to at least partially weed out people who might use them for the wrong reason.

2) Smaller Schools can instill better character traits in our next generation: 

Schools need to be small enough that everyone knows everyone else. The school "family" needs to work as a unit, work to introduce our students, our next generation's leaders, to the realities of life. While we need to encourage students in their talents, we also need to teach them that the country (and the world), like a sports team, works best when everyone does his/her part. They all need to be taught that there are no free rides. We need to stress John F. Kennedy's quote "Ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country". Smaller schools would give each student more of an opportunity to feel like part of the team.

3) Morality and Ethics:

I think what we need to teach in schools is the value of each life and how killing one person is like killing the whole world (since you "kill" all the people who would come from that person). We need to draw a distinct line between killing and murder and show young people there is never a justification for murder. We need to raise a generation that doesn't see murder as a solution, or even as a possibility. We all have issues, we have all run into the proverbial "brick wall" in dealing with life. We need to teach that we can NEVER think that murder is the answer or EVER think that injuring someone is the solution.

4) Politics and blame:

Instead of pointing a finger, instead of turning a major tragedy into a political fight, we need to come together and work out solutions without "the blame game" and without guilting one's political "enemies". This is a bipartisan issue. NRA supporters don't want young people mass murdered in their schools any more than Gun Control supporters do. Each side sees the issue differently and, from where I sit, probably both sides have a point and both sides have some flaws in their perspective. With both sides confabbing on this issue we can meld together a workable solution that would prevent most of these attacks (we don't really know how many are prevented at this point since we only hear about the attacks during which people are killed). The "fault" lies not in our legislators but in the murderer. 

5) The perception of white male privilege:

White Privilege is not just an issue for non-whites (and women). The more we talk about White Privilege, the more young white males think it exists in as much as they think it entitles them to treat non-white/non-males as slaves to do their bidding. Teachers, employers and other people of influence often act as though while males are "better" than non-white/non-males. Sports stars have this perception of privilege when it comes to grades and other things and by giving them what appears to be a "free ride" is not helping them or the country or the world. We must work to teach our students that they are capable of anything they put their minds to. We must teach them that a life without work, a life where you only receive but never contribute is an empty life, a life devoid of meaning and happiness. We need to teach them to give their own lives meaning, to show them how to contribute to the world and life in this country and on this planet. We need to be roll models to them by living our own lives this way.

If we put all these (and possibly other) pieces into the puzzle of mass murder, we might just change the complete picture and make this country and this world a better place to live. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Colin vs The Donald


I've already commented on what I thought about Colin Kaepernick. Since then, he has done what I suggested (while I doubt he even read my blog on the subject), which was to do something substantial (like with money) to improve the lot of the people he was protesting for. I'd like to see more on his part, but for the time being, I'm giving Mr. Kaepernick the benefit of the doubt (that being that he really did do this to improve the lives of so many poor minority children who have the deck stacked against them and NOT because he was trying to showboat to flag up his sagging career).

We do still live in the United States, a country founded on our right to express ourselves. While I agree that by not giving the national anthem its due, one is being disrespectful to the brave people who risk their lives every day to protect us (this includes the military, police, guards, secret service, etc.), I also agree that people have the right to protest by not standing for the national anthem, by raising a fist on the metal platform at the Olympics, by changing their names to "X" so as to not use their "slave names", or any other non-violent means. Just like people have the right to protest, I have the right to comment on their protests (which I did previously in this blog).

As an Orthodox Jew, as a Jew who is hated for just being a Jew, as a Jew who watches as the world "yawns" as my people are slaughtered by homicide bombers in Israel, in France, all over Europe, all over the Middle East, as a Jew who is told time and again that we Jews can't possibly understand what African-Americans have suffered because we're not African-American (leaving aside the fact that there are many Jews of color), as a Jew who has ALWAYS supported African-American rights, who grew up in a family that wouldn't watch "Gone with the Wind" because it was racist, who went to a religious school where the principal, a Rabbi, visibly shaken, interrupted our Thursday night "Mishmar" (voluntary learning once a week) to tell us of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr (after which he called for a moment of silence), as a Jew familiar with Jewish History and African-American History and just how much those histories have in common, I agree with fighting for civil rights but I also can look at this country and see that a lot of the abridgement of civil and human rights that exists in other countries exists on a much smaller scale here in the US. I believe it is much more constructive to work for the furtherance of the leveling of rights for all here than it is to act as though this is the most horrible country on the planet. 

When people single out African-Americans and act as though ONLY African-Americans have gotten the short end of the American Dream, I feel the need to protest. I have several reasons for this. 1) There are many people in this country who are discriminated against besides African-Americans and by singling out African-Americans, we are short changing others groups who are discriminated against, 2) when we separate ourselves into distinct groups we do the work that makes the job of the haters easier, haters like the Neo-Nazi Skinhead White Supremacists. These haters hate us all and they believe in "Divide and Conquer", sit back and allow all the groups they hate, the Blacks, the Jews, the Latinos, the East Asians, the "mixed race", the Women, just about any group that isn't White, Male, Anglo-Saxon/Germanic, Protestant, and Straight to fight against each other 3) There are many people who are in more than one group: the African-American Women, the Black Latinos, the Jewish East Asians, for example. 

So I still think there is a lot of work to do, but we need to do it together. We need to find the areas where our needs and desires as a group overlap, where our interests are your interests, where fighting discrimination in housing and jobs and other such issues are germane to all groups. And we also need to work together, even when it appears we have different issues. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Nations United Against Israel and the US or Hatred on the East River


To those who have issues with "settlements", have you ever been to Israel? I have another name for "settlements" -- cities, towns, townships. They aren't places where people are living in tents using outhouses, these are towns and cities with real houses, roads, schools, colleges, shops and stores, police departments, mail delivery, newspaper delivery, running water, electricity, cars, bicycles, etc. My sister used to live in a "settlement" and I still have friends who live in that town. I am a lifelong Liberal (though mostly I have voted for Democrats, I don't consider myself a Democrat and I certainly won't if they choose the Antisemitic Keith Ellison as their leader) and I have never felt I was wrong in voting against Obama. I did vote for Hillary (with my hope on the matter being that Hillary as President wouldn't have the same policies as Hillary as Obama's Secretary of State).

I don't like Trump, as a person, as a president or as a representative of my country (and I believe Hillary's loss is more about misogyny than politics) but from a perspective of how things will be for Israel, I'm hopeful (though way less than hopeful about things domestic, like women's rights, reproductive rights, gay rights, animal rights, global warming, social programs, etc). I hate that I have to choose between what goes on here in the US and the security of Israel and Jews around the world (I have a lot of family and friends in Israel and it's still needed for every Jew in the world so that persecuted Jews have a place to go). See my previous article about my ideals.

I think the UN vote is galvanizing pro-Israel people all over the world, including people who previously weren't as vocal about it. I think more and more people are realizing that the "Nations United against Israel and the US" (aka the UN or the "NUAIU") are making themselves more and more irrelevant in an age where genocide and murder, oppression and terrorism, hatred and moral relativism are rampant and the "NUAIU" is ignoring them all to lambaste one of the most (if not the most) moral country in the world and accuse them of the crimes of others (mostly the Palestinian Authority).And just because "the whole world" agrees that the "settlements" (read: towns, cities, municipalities) are illegal doesn't mean they are. I'm a Modern Orthodox Jewish (minority in Orthodox and Jewish, which is a tiny minority of the world population) vegan (minority in vegetarians who are a small minority of people). The last thing you can say to me to make me agree with anything is that "everyone" believes it. I try to analyze the facts, not emotional Anti-Jewish lies. Check your facts. 

We all want peace. Well, not the "Palestinians", who teach their children to hate. Interviewers asked little "Palestinian" children, 2-5 years old or so, what they want to do. They don't say play ball, or mention toys or games, or even reading or learning or going to the park. They say they want to kill Jews. How can you have peace when one side teaches their babies to hate (ask Jewish and Israeli children, they will want to play, give tzedaka, help people, etc.). It isn't Israel that keeps the "Palestinians" in squalor. It isn't Israel that keeps the "Palestinians" in fear. It isn't Israel that keeps the "Palestinians" dependant on handouts. It's their own leadership, Hamas and Fatah. 

Besides, what can you say about people who are more upset by Jews building homes than they are about Iran, a terrorist suppressive regime, building nuclear bombs.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

We Were All Trumped


I am, quite honestly, in shock. This was my nightmare last week and I was so glad it was only a dream. Now it's reality.

I honestly had more faith in the American people. I didn't think they would elect a man who has consistently berated "others" -- disabled people, immigrants, gays, poor people, women. I can't believe that people find Hilary Clinton, a woman who has fought to uplift people, who has already spent 8 years in the White House, 8 years in the Senate and 4 years as Secretary of State, as unqualified to be President. She has weathered the storm of controversy, but the controversy she has had to weather is largely overblown and exaggerated because of her gender, particularly when she was running against a misogynist.

What disheartens me the most is that, despite all his disparaging remarks against women, his groping and excusing it, so many women voted for him. I can't believe the damage his remarks will do, if not to adult women, to the youngest females among us (and the youngest males, who will believe this is the way to behave with women).

I hope my crystal ball is no more accurate than a magic 8 ball, but I see dismantling of programs for young women, dismantling of legal abortion, dismantling of social security and medicare, dismantling of gay marriage, dismantling of the Affordable care act, not to mention Freedom of the Press.

I've been fighting a sexist world since I was in Kindergarten. In all that time, I have lived through Presidents that tried to dismantle women's programs. But Trump is a true sociopath and as President there is no end the disasters he can cause. And that worries me.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Land of the Free and the Home of the Knave


An open letter Colin Kaepernick:

The US was founded on the principles of freedom, liberty and equal opportunity for all. Unfortunately, at the time of the founding, the "all" of that statement referred to Landed, White, Anglo-Saxon, mostly Christian Men.

While I hardly support slavery, it's hard to totally blame the founding fathers for it. Many of them (like Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, for example) were staunchly against slavery, while others (like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson) were born into the system and didn't quite see a way out of it.

In the 19th Century, when civil rights (even if that's not what they called it) were being sought, women, who weren't in the "all" group either, fought more for abolition of slavery. It was only after slavery was abolished that women actually began fighting for rights for themselves.

Nowadays, here in the 21st Century, things have changed for the better. Educational opportunities are available (and becoming more available) to descendants of former slaves and former suffragettes. While things are by no means equal (rich people of any stripe often have an upper hand in all things), things have improved and continue to improve.

This country, while, hardly perfect, is one of the best countries in the world when it comes to equality of opportunity for all ethnicities, all religions, both genders, and all sexual orientations. We're not perfect. No one is. But if you go to many countries in Africa, Asia and even Europe, you may find that equality of opportunity is non-existent. Women, Gays, Jews, Christians, and often Blacks, are treated at best as second class citizens, at worst, evil beings who deserve death.

I've always thought that the US would do better from a philosophical perspective if our national anthem were either "G-d Bless America" (though this might be an issue for Atheists) or "America the Beautiful" (I lean more toward the latter). I'm not happy that our National Anthem is war-centered. But now, with an enemy that respects strength, I'm having second thoughts about that.

You, Mr. Kaepernick, are what is best in this nation. As a biracial American, you can unite all Americans behind not only "The Star Spangled Banner" but "Lift Every Voice and Sing", popularly knows as the Black National Anthem. It's a beautiful piece, Mr. Kaepernick. It's not a divisive song, rather it is a uniting song. Just the title is unifying -- Lift EVERY Voice.
  • Lift every voice and sing
  • 'Til earth and heaven ring,
  • Ring with the harmonies of Liberty See all the lyrics here
The Harmonies of Liberty are for all. And if you were to use your influence to get "Lift Every Voice and Sing" along with "The Star Spangled Banner", it would encourage everyone to stand for both as we Jews stand for both "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Hatikvah" (the Hope, the National Anthem of Israel and, to some degree, the Anthem of all Jews in the post-Israeli-Statehood years).

If you're going to focus on the negative, Mr. Kaepernick, if you're going to concentrate on the inequalities that haven't yet been corrected, rather than how far our country has come and how much better it is to live in the US than so many other countries, that is divisive. It's sort of hard to take you terribly seriously (about how the US is oppressing Blacks) when you are making more money in a year than I have made in my entire life. It's hard to take you terribly seriously when you get paid for playing a game. Perhaps you feel guilty that you are making so much money for playing a game when there are so many children in our country who only get school lunches for food each day and live in slums where drive-by shootings are de rigueur. If so, why not put your money where your tush (that tush that's sitting during the national anthem) is? By sitting, you are not just dissing the US, you are dissing your teammates. You are dissing every American who has worked hard to get where (s)he is in life. You are also dissing every person who really is oppressed, every little girl who gets her genitals cut off or gets married off to a 50 year old pediphile. You are dissing every Black African sold into slavery in the Muslim world. You are dissing every young woman kidnapped by Boko Haram and sold into marriage to an older man and every Afghani boy who is molested by an older man (who was molested by an older man when he was a boy).

Think about it. If you want to make the world a better place, take out your checkbook, mentor a poor American child, petition legislators to play both anthems and change laws. Use your influence to improve the world, not to be divisive. And I, for one, would stand with you.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Is Freedom of Speech Dead?

 I am starting to get the feeling that "freedom of speech" is eroding. What words are we allowed to use, according to the gods of "political correctness"? Can I say "I'm bidding 2 spades" if I'm playing bridge? Can I use the word "boy" when referring to my great-nephew, who is almost 7? Can I use the word "thug" when referring to petty criminals and felons? 

I looked up the word "thug", just to check for myself if there is any reason anyone should feel that the word itself is racist. It isn't, at least not against African Americans (Indians may have an issue with it, but I digress). This is the definition I found online:

THəɡ/noun1.a violent person, especially a criminal.

2.historicala member of a religious organization of robbers and assassins in India. Devotees of the goddess Kali, the Thugs waylaid and strangled their victims, usually travelers, in a ritually prescribed manner. They were suppressed by the British in the 1830s.

So why was a weatherman from Dallas, who was just expressing his feelings (with which I happen to agree, to some extent) forced to resign? I'm still trying to figure that one out myself.

I know there is a difference between Free Speech and Hate Speech. There is nothing in the comment, "The DNC parading the mothers of slain thugs on their stage has made me furious" that points to the race or ethnicity of the people on stage or to their late progeny. To be honest, I have an issue with the DNC "parading the mothers of slain" whatever "on their stage". I also have an issue with people putting so much energy into complaining that criminals who were resisting arrest or trying to kill police officers were shot. I know there are some times that police officers shoot people for the wrong reason. But too many people are jumping every time an African American is shot by a police officer (of whatever ethnicity). I have yet to hear a "hue and cry" over non-African Americans shot by police or police officers shot by suspects (of whatever ethnicity). Why is that? Is a shooting always a "bad" shooting if a police office shoots an African-American but not a "bad" shooting when the police officer shoots a non-African-American? Are all African-Americans non-criminals and all non-African-Americans criminals? 

When a person (of any ethnicity) commits a crime, that person knows (s)he doesn't want to be caught. That person also knows that (s)he might be shot or otherwise physically restrained by a police officer if they run or attack the police or resist arrest. That is as it should be, in my humble opinion. 

Why, also, do these shootings or other perpetrator deaths make the headlines but the police who risk their lives to save others get buried on page 27 of the newspaper? 

This is not to say that I think police officers are saints. It just means that I believe that police officers cannot properly protect us, themselves and their partners if every time they are dealing with a perpetrator they have to think about what the headlines and the "PC Police" will say. 

This brings us back to "Freedom of Speech". Is it eroding? Why is the "PC Police" so quick to accuse others of racism but just as quick to call Israel apartheid, to call Zionism (the desire of Jews to have our homeland) racism, to call Jews horrible names, condemn terrorism against Gentiles in Europe but condone (and, often applaud) terrorism in Israel or against Jews in Europe? Why do Jewish students on the campuses of American universities get yelled down or threatened just for being Jews and even more so if they express their support of Israel? Why was Phyllis Chesler, a feminist who I've been following since my Mom was in college (in her late 30s) and I was in my teens, forced to hide her feelings about Israel from "friends" and colleagues?  It's Israel's fault, the lovers of "Political Correctness" claim. It's all the fault of the one country in the region where Freedom of Speech is law, the one country where gays and women and non-Muslims are respected, not "honor" killed. Before you start condemning a weatherman in Dallas, check your own prejudices. Clean up your own "house" before you criticize (nay, excoriate) others. And let Freedom and the Bill of Rights guide you. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"With a Father Like That..."


Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker, tells a story (in his book Awaken the Giant Within) about a criminal, a drug addict, crook and murderer, who had two sons. One was just like "dear old dad", a criminal spending a large chunk of his life in prison. The other was a family man, pillar of his community, never touched drugs or alcohol, loved his job and found it very rewarding. Unbeknownst to each other, they were both asked how they turned out that way they did and both gave the same answer, "What else could I have become, having grown up with a father like that."

We all know people who blame all their "transgressions" on others. It's never their fault; it's always something outside of their control that led to their downfall. King Saul of Biblical fame was like that -- it wasn't his fault that he hired a witch to contact Samuel after he died, it wasn't his fault that he didn't wait for Samuel to start fighting the Philistines.

I'm hearing the same sort of talk coming out of Europe these days. They are blaming Israel (and, by extension, Jews) for the terrorist attacks happening all over Europe. Excuse me, but this makes no sense whatsoever. European politicians left and right (well, ok, mostly left) have been blaming Israel for the recent ISIS attack on France.

It makes no sense to blame the victims for these attacks. How can Israel, where Arabs have more rights and live better lives than in any other country in the Middle East. Those Arabs who live in Israel have all the rights that every other resident of the country has.

People who do not take control of their own lives find a way to blame others for their failures. The violence erupting across Europe is a sign of the failure of the European Union and the Nations thereof to protect the citizens of Europe from the infiltration of members of the Hydra-Headed Terror Machine bent on the destruction of the civilized world. And, since the European leaders failed, and continue to fail, so miserably, it clearly can't be their fault. So it has to be someone else's fault and that someone else has to be Israel. After all, this is just the new generation's way of being Antisemitic in sheep's clothing. The whole "oh, I don't hate Jews, I'm just against Israel's suppression of "Palestinian" rights" just won't fly anymore. Take off the angel costume and admit that you're just a bunch of Antisemites.

This is not just a problem of hatred, by the way. The European Leaders are slitting their own throats. By blaming Israel for their problems, they avoid taking responsibility for fighting terrorism. By blaming Israel for their problems, they avoid protecting their people from violent Islamist attacks. By blaming Israel for their problems, they avoid taking the steps that might actually get the attacks to stop. And they deflect the blame from their own inadequacies.

Europe's current legacy is the same legacy that Neville Chamberlain tried to leave 80+ years ago. You can't placate terrorists, whether the terrorists are Nazi Germans or Islamist extremists. Unless Europe can turn their actions around, can begin to realize that the only way to fight demagoguery and terror is by actually fighting it.  Unless Europe's leaders fight the fight and stops blaming Israel for its problems Europe will become a satellite of the Islamist world. The Europe of the Magna Carta and the French Revolution, of Peter the Great and Napoleon, of Berlioz and Mozart will cease to exist.

Israel and Europe have the same "father". Both have dealt with terror attacks. But Israel doesn't blame others for her terror problems. Israel realizes her responsibility to protect her citizens and guests. Israel fights her enemies. Europe invites its enemies into the house to have tea and then says it's Israel's fault the enemies attack. Europe needs to wake up and stop coddling murderers or the only legacy they will leave their children is honor killings and suppression.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hallel Nirtzah(a)


I have family in Israel. And, while I do believe that they are safer in Israel than here in the US, I do worry about them. I worry every time I hear about another terror attack.

The night before she was murdered, Hallel was dancing in a recital, just like so many American and Israeli teens. Her name means "Praise to G-d" but her light has been snuffed out. 

Why was this sweet young girl murdered? Because the "Palestinian" leadership would rather keep their people in squalor, would rather line their own pockets with foreign aid, would rather have their people believe that all the ills of the lives, and all the ills of the world, will be solved if only they murder their neighbors, children and adults, men and women, singles and families. And, if they get killed themselves while murdering Jews, all the better -- they go to heaven and their family gets money, money that is kept from them by their leaders.

OK, so I understand why the "Palestinians" (or "the ethnically, linguistically, religiously identical people who could be living in any one of 21 other countries who don't want them, but Israel gives a home to despite their treasonous behavior"), who are nursed at the teet of hatred by mothers who were raised to hate in schools run by the United Nations and teach hatred and murder, hate Israel and scream for her destruction but why do the supposedly "civilized" western countries, while condemning terrorism in their own countries, condone and sometimes even support (verbally, emotionally and often even financially) these murderers when they murder Jews and Israelis? Why do they people in these countries, who have seen the difference between the Jews and Islamists in their own countries, see how Jews contribute to the vitality and economy of their country, while Islamists only take and destroy, only turn their countries into an image of the set of the most distopic movie you can imagine, why do they feel that Israel should be destroyed and the "Palestinians" should be lauded and lionized? 

Until the world stops supporting Mr. Abbas (aka Arafat in a suit) and his calls for genocidal murder, until the world stands up and stops financially supporting the "Palestinian Authority" and stops allowing the Islamists to commandeer the United Nations and use it as a pawn for their worldwide Jihad, until that day we will continue to lose wonderful people to the evil of hatred.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Election 2016


It's funny how the presidential election pre-"game" seems to start earlier and earlier. But the problem is that, like the "March Madness" in college Basketball, the march to the World Series and the Super Bowl, it all comes down to two candidates.

I live in a state that has a pretty decent size population, but our primaries are late. So I rarely get to express my preferences in the polls (it's all a fait-accompli by the time I get to vote). But lately I have the same issues every election. I have to decide between "my ideals when it comes to women's rights, gay rights, governmental support of the poor, animal rights, the environment, all those high-minded liberal causes that I care so much about" AND "Israel and its right to survive and my rights to support Israel as a Jew". 

I listen to all the "stuff" about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I really love what they both stand for domestically. I support all the same issues they both support when it comes to women's rights and gay marriage and social and economic programs and tax breaks for the poor while the rich help, and job programs and free (or low cost) education and job training etc etc etc. BUT (and this is a HUGE but) Hillary Clinton, in her guise as the Secretary of State for the Obama-nation, has time and time again thrown Israel "under the bus" -- time and time again, she blamed Israel for the "situation" in the Middle East, blamed Israel for the failed peace talks, came down on Netanyahu while giving Abbas (Arafat in a suit) and Hamas a "hall pass", never asking them for concessions. And as bad as Hillary Clinton is, Bernie Sanders is even worse. Bernie dissed AIPAC (American Israel Public Action Committee) -- none of the other candidates, EVEN Hillary, did that. Bernie buddies up to "J Street" and organizations that are funded by the world-wide hydra-headed terror monster.

But then I hear Cruz and, on occasion, Trump, talk about Israel and how Israel is our ally and Israel deserves our support (as I've heard Rubio say over the past several years). But I also hear how they think rape is a woman's fault and transexuals can't use public bathrooms of the gender they identify with and how it makes sense to give tax breaks to people who are already obscenely rich and how global warming is a myth and pesticides are a necessity (even when they are killing bees which support us by pollinating our fruits and vegetables). 

So what can I do? Either I condemn the world to a Sharia nightmare by supporting the Democrats or I condemn the US to a trip down the reactionary rabbit hole where women are blamed for sexual harassment they receive, where gays are denied simple marriage rights, where the poor are looked down on and blamed for their "laziness", where mental illness is ignored or blamed on the victim. I don't like either picture but unfortunately, as bad as the latter is, the former, the world Bernie and Hillary would give to us, is far worse.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Political Roulette


One of my friends had a link on her Facebook this morning of a link to an article called 75 Blog Post Ideas for Lifestyle Bloggers 

Now, I'm not exactly a lifestyle blogger (though, perhaps, my Debbie The Fashionita blog, which I have only a handful of posts on, might fall into that category), but one of her ideas was "Who you're voting for for President" and I thought that might make a good post for this blog.

I'm not the most politically savvy person in the US. But I do have a few politicos that I keep my eye on. Among the current front-runners, I favor Marco Rubio -- for better or worse, even though domestically I'm a "dyed in the wool" Liberal, even though I support women's rights, a woman's right to choose, gay marriage, separation of "church" and state (being an Orthodox Jew), ecological imperatives, etc., I'm more concerned these days with who supports Israel and who, I believe, will be the most תקיף (Tah-keef -- forceful) in his/her fight against the worldwide hydra-headed terrorist organization. And, in my eyes, that candidate is Marco Rubio.

I've been following him for years, since before the previous Presidential Election. I heard a story (which I did see on the internet, but I'm now having some difficulty finding it) that someone asked him what he thought about Israel "giving back" (like it ever belonged to them in the first place) the "West Bank" to the "Palestinians". Rubio (who, BTW, uses the Israeli/Jewish way of referring to the area, calling it "Judea and Samaria" meaning he accepts Israel's sovereignty over the region) asked the questioner if he thought the US should give Texas and New Mexico back to Mexico. That, mind you, is something I've been saying for years, but Rubio was the first politician I ever heard elucidate this idea.

I don't quite know what I'll do if, G-d forbid, Marco Rubio isn't still available to vote for by June, when my state has its primary or for the general election. There really aren't any other candidates I feel comfortable with.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bad Men Need Nothing More to Compass Their Ends, Than That Good Men Should Look on and Do Nothing


I was looking around Wikipedia for quotes about how good people doing nothing leads to the triumph of evil and I found the above quote from John Stuart Mill. I've been rolling this sort of idea around my head lately, particularly now that one of Israel's staunchest supporter on the world stage, Stephen Harper, was defeated in his bid to be re-elected Prime Minister of Canada. 

Another "Good Man" bites the dust. And another one's gone and another one's gone, another one bites the dust. 

If you've been listening to the news lately, you have probably heard about the daily knife attacks in Israel. Or perhaps you haven't since the media chooses to ignore terrorist attacks. These knife attacks are just the most recent spate of attacks aimed at Israeli civilians by terror mongering "Palestinians". 

It's bad enough that Mr. Abbas (aka Arafat in a suit) incites the populous of his "nation" with lies that Israel has executed a boy (who was sitting in a bed in an Israeli hospital at the time -- he's now home while the boy he stabbed is fighting for his life in the same hospital) or that Israel was planning on changing the status quo on the Temple Mount (not only is Israel NOT changing the status quo, Israel is vigorously maintaining the status quo to the detriment of Jewish Israelis) or that Israel was going to raze the Al-Aqsa Mosque (Israel is the only country in the region that protects the religious sites of all religions). Abbas is inciting his people in what he's calling the "Knife Intifada". This, as I said before, is bad enough.

What makes this even worse is that people like John Kerry saying things like "both sides" need to "calm down". Excuse me? Israel has to more calmly protect her guests and citizens from murdering knife wielders? Israel has to more calmly protect her guests and citizens from murdering knife wielders?  Or maybe just that we should give the "Palestinians" and their friends what they want -- Jews marching suicidally into the sea. 

When a huge group of world leaders is giving Mr. Abbas's ravings legitimacy, he gets away with calling upon hatred, calling for murder, calling for destroying the enemy in a "noble, sacrificial" gesture. When good people don't call Abbas on his hatred, his murdering of innocents, from tiny babies, to young parents, to holocaust surviving great-grandparents, Abbas feels emboldened, as so do the blade thrusting thugs roaming the streets of Jerusalem. The rule, "never take a knife to a gunfight" doesn't apply here -- the world is criticizing Israeli use of guns against knifers. It also doesn't apply because the people who are bringing knives don't care if they're killed -- if they die, they will get paradise in heaven. 

World leaders, get off your thrones. Understand your contribution to the situation in the Middle East. By ignoring the evil in the region, by blaming Israel you are contributing to your own country's refugee problems, by taking the one country willing and able to fight the oppressors out of the equation. Support Israel, vocally, and you will be working for your own country as well as a more stable world.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"You Have No Right to Live"


A child was born, once upon a time. There should have been joy, but from the time this child was born, everyone who saw her told her she had no right to live. On her way to school or to the park, other children would hit her, or try to kill her, yelling as they attacked, "You have no right to live!" But none of this made her turn into a hater. When she would see someone attacking another child, she would come to that person's aid. When she saw someone get hit by lightning or pass out from the heat, she would help.

Over time, she taught herself to defend herself. She became good at taking on the hating children. But every time she did that, other people would yell that she had attacked someone. They would never take her side, never try to help her. The people who attacked her were by and large evil people who would use the attacks to obscure their own evil deeds.Someone robbed a bank? It was her fault. Someone was killed? It was her fault.There was a bad auto accident? It was her fault.

That child is Israel. No other country in the world has had it's "right to exist" questioned, not Iran, not Iraq, not China or North Korea, not Libya or Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. No country, no land, no tyrannical leadership, no genocidal regime has had their right to exist questioned. Only Israel, peace-loving Israel, the same Israel who was one of the first on hand when there was an earthquake in Haiti, when there was a tsunami in Japan, when there were miners trapped underground in Chile. Israel, little Israel, 153rd in the world in land mass and 96th in population, about the size of New Jersey. Only Israel has been told it has no right to exist.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who either flip-flops with the wind or lied to us about his stand on Israel while he was running for president, called for the end of senseless violence but acts as though Israel is equally culpable for this round of violence (please list for me, Mr. Kerry, 5 incidents of Israelis stabbing Palestinian civilians -- I haven't heard of any). 

Delegitimize the "other", that's a way of hiding your own illegitimacy. The leaders of the countries that hate, the countries who question Israel's right to exist, have a vested interest in "their people" believing that Israel is the evil, that Israel is suppressing their rights, that Israel took their land because (land that was never theirs legally), in reality, it is their own leaders who are evil, their own leaders who suppress their rights, their own leaders who keep them in squalor, don't allow the refugees to be absorbed, like the 586,000 Jewish refugees exiled from Arab countries that tiny Israel took in. The evil regimes' governments keep their people in squalor so they have a ready supply of cannon (or homicide bomb) fodder, people whose lives they don't value, who they can send to fight their enemies. These regimes don't need tanks and aircraft carriers and bombers, they send their human automatons to do the dirty work. And when they do blow themselves up, or get themselves killed by soldiers protecting the Israeli populace, their leaders, those people who supposedly care so much about them, use their deaths as a call for vengeance.

There is a cycle of violence. It's not Israel protecting itself by attacking terror mongers. It's Hamas and the Palestinian authority realizing they need to obscure their dirty deeds, so they stir the pot and incite hatred (which is easy because their people have been fed a steady "diet" of hatred from the time they are tiny babies). And anyone who chooses to believe the lies they spread, the lies the media spreads, about Israel and Jews is contributing to the evil that keeps these people suppressed and oppressed. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Where Have You Gone, Lois Lane?


When I was young, I loved reading superhero comic books. One of my regular comics, however, was not about a hero with super powers, it was about Superman's "girlfriend", Lois Lane.

Lois Lane made me want to be a journalist. She would find the truth and print the truth. She would fight to get the truth and she would fight to keep her journalistic integrity, to remain an unbiased reporter.

Nowadays, it's hard to find journalistic integrity. Terror attacks in Israel are reported in ways that make it seem as though the victims initiated the attacks against the terrorists rather than the other way around. For example, Honest Reporting shows that many news sources clearly bias their news to make Israel look bad and the murderous Terror mongers look like "innocent" victims of Israeli prejudice. 

I realize Lois Lane is a fictional character, but where is the barnstorming reporter who fearlessly tells the truth? Where are the "crusading" reporters, intrepid standard bearers of the truth, lovers of veracity? Why are they hiding behind the guise of "Anti-Israel" sentiment, claiming Israel is the most evil evil on this earth, worse than Syria or Iran or China or North Korea, claiming they aren't Antisemites, not haters, just "pursuing justice" for the murderous terrorists. Why are they not pursuing justice for the victims? Why are they not pursuing justice for the nation that opens it's doors to everyone but for the nations who ban everyone? Why are they not pursuing justice for the children who have lost parents, the parents who have lost babies, Israeli or Palestinian? Why are they not pursuing justice for the women, victims of dis"honor killings" at the hands of their "loved ones"? Why are they not pursuing justice for the gay men and women who need to flee their lands and are accepted in Israel, no matter what their ethnicity?

Terrorists are terrorists, no matter what their supposed provocation. If you murder to "protest", you are a terrorist, not a "freedom fighter" or a "militant". Get off it. Stop defending murderers. That's what REAL reporters would do. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

And I Ran, I Ran so far away......


I'm thinking of writing a story about a big-city mayor sitting down with the area crime boss. After several days behind closed doors, the Mayor comes out of the meeting claiming to have solved the problem of organized crime in the city. The hoods were given license to carry machine guns, and the police were required to defend them if anyone they were threatening were fighting back. The Mayor hailed it as a day of acceptance. 

Most of the people of the city were appalled. They wrote to their City Council members urging them to vote against this ill-advised pact. But the Mayor kept strong-arming the City Council members, particularly the ones who were in his party. Many City Council members, though, even ones from the Mayor's party, started standing up and proclaiming their opposition to the deal, listing their reasons. I don't know yet what will happen with the vote.

I don't know yet what will happen with the vote because the vote hasn't come yet. I don't know yet whether Congress, in each house, will have enough votes to override any presidential veto of the Iran "deal". 

How can anyone think this "deal" will prevent war? How can anyone think that a deal with the devil is good (Haven't they heard of Faust? Haven't they heard of Neville Chamberlain?)? How can anyone out there be thinking it's a good thing to give the "keys to the kingdom" in the form of nuclear weapons to a country who WILL USE THEM -- by their own words. They WILL use nuclear weapons against Israel. They WILL use nuclear weapons against the US. They WILL use nuclear weapons against anyone who doesn't agree with them and their twisted version of Islam. 

I joined "Move-On" many years ago, probably before 9/11 and the visible, growing threat of Radical Islam, because I agreed with their domestic agenda (women's rights, reproductive rights, gay rights, etc.) but they called for members to join a demonstration in front of my usually level-headed, pro-Israel, anti-Terror Democratic Representative to convince him to vote for the treaty from Hell. I hope he isn't swayed, but I worry.

How can so many people be so blinded? How can it take so few people to approve such a far-reaching measure? 

Think about this very carefully, people of the US, Representatives of the people of the US, Senators of the people of the US, DO YOU REALLY WANT THE WORST OF THE WORST TO HAVE WEAPONS THAT CAN DESTROY THE ENTIRE WORLD?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Who is Disrespecting Whom?


I don't consider myself a Democrat even though, for the most part, I agree with what the Democrats support when it comes to issues domestic. I don't consider myself a Republican even though, for the most part, I agree with what the Republicans support when it comes to issues international (Israel and the Middle East, fighting terrorism, etc.). [Noto Bene: Both of my state's senators and my district's representative are Democrats and do strongly support Israel]

I've been following this "letter" controversy. From my perspective, it's part and parcel of the whole Iran issue. The President, in his infinite (lack of) wisdom, has decided to pull a "Neville Chamberlain" by negotiating with Iran. Iran, one of the biggest supporters (emotional and financial) of the Hydra-headed Terrorist Monster, one country in this crazy world that has more than enough energy to support itself, one country that has no need for nuclear energy, one country that would use nuclear energy for one purpose and one purpose only, that being to murder and destroy, this is the country that Mr. Obama seems to think he can work with. And, knowing how congress, particularly many of the Republican members of congress, feels about this attempt to placate the devil, the president is "going it alone", abusing executive privilage, to make a deal to allow the most dangerous country in the world to have the weapons (nuclear) they can use to destroy the world.

So, when this came across my desktop (in my e-mail), I was moved to comment:

New York Times: Republican Idiocy on Iran
The Republicans are so determined to insult President Obama that they sent a letter to Iran to undermine him.

It’s not only monumentally disrespectful, it’s dangerously dumb. The New York Times reports that the Republicans’ letter was “disgraceful and irresponsible” – they even call it “IDIOCY.”

Now, I can't speak for all Republicans (particularly since I'm not a Republican) but from my perspective the Republicans who sent the letter are not trying to undermine or insult the president; they are trying to protect their constituents, they are trying to protect all of the US, they are trying to protect Israel, they are trying to protect the entire free world.

So get off your high horse, New York Times. Give up your name calling. Stop the character assassinations. Some of us, even registered Democrats (like me), support those politicos who have our security as their number one concern.  

It's funny (that's ironic) that the issue of Iran or the Middle East in general or Israel's security does cross party lines. There are Democrats who support Israel; there are Republicans who don't. I'm glad the founding fathers were wise enough to create a system where the president can't run roughshod over the will of the people. I'm glad there is freedom of speech in this country so we are all free to tell the New York Times (or even the president) to take a long walk off a short pier. And I'm glad we have people in our government who have our back even when the President doesn't.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Europe, are you Awake?


There has been, for many years now, a return of Antisemitism (though I'm not sure it ever left) in Europe. Europe was the center of Nazi based Antisemitism in the middle of the 20th Century. During the middle ages, Europe was the place where Jews were expelled from country after country. 

In a world where Roman Catholicism reigned supreme, it's a bit easier to point to Jews as the "other". It was a bit easier to get away with saying you will not protect the Jews, you will eliminate the Jews from your country. But in the 21st Century, with melting pots of religions, races and nationalities in just about every country in Europe, if you can't protect the Jews, you can't protect anyone. 

Antisemitism in this day and age is often masquarading as Anti-Israel sentiment. Yet in all the world, what other country elicits so much hatred, so much vitriol, so many protests, so many condemnations? Can it possibly be that this tiny little country, about the size of New Jersey, can be so evil that its evil dwarfs China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, even Libya? Can it be that the "Palestinians" so highly deserve their own country, are so unwelcome in the 22 Arab and Muslim countries that the only answer is to give them Israel?

It's just another guise for the old Antisemitism.It's the oldest and longest lasting "hatred with no reason". So many people don't question the newspapers and other media outlets because they have heard in their churches and mosques that Jews are evil.  

But any country, any nation, any group that cannot protect its Jewish population can't protect itself. Talk is cheap, but I'm still waiting to see action. I'm waiting for the European countries, the countries that will lose a lot if their Jews depart, to bring in their military to protect Jews (and everyone else) from terrorist attacks. We know you know how to do this (or can find out from the US and Israel). 

So, Europe, if you want to remain part of Western Civilization, if you want to maintain your standard of living and way of life, you better protect us Jews. If you don't, your countries will never be the shining examples of civilization they once were.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Freedom of Suppress? (With apologies to Hawkeye Pierce)


I'm seeing in my mind a young child. He goes to school every day and in his school there is a bully. Despite seeing this bully beat up boy after boy in his class, he says nothing, he tells no one, even when asked. He thinks by doing this the bully won't hurt him.

But bullies don't work that way. Inevitably, one day, the bully finds him and beats him up. But all those boys who've been beaten up have moved away and can't tell anyone about the bully. So the boy stands up and says he's going to fight to bully. But it's just talk. 

Europe, as a whole, needs to get its act together. In the same week I read that England and France were both going to start fighting Antisemitism, France has multiple terror attacks. I sort of feel as though Europe's reaction to all this seems just like that boy fighting the bully.

England and France are beginning to realize what some of us realized from the beginning: those who attack Jews also attack freedom, including freedom of the press and freedom of speech. These are the very freedoms that terrorists attacked in France this week when they murdered cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo (see cartoons about the attack) 

The only way to defeat these bullies on adrenaline, these destroyers of mythic proportion, is to fight them. If all the free world's forces were brought to bear, if all the military forces in the Western World were to unite and fight this evil together, if we, non-military freedom lovers all, could unite and turn to G-d, do good, pray, show the "evildoers" what good is, show the world, show the people, that what we do matters, living a good life, a life where we love each other and help each other and give the rest of the world hope matters, then we could destroy evil. 

To all the Jews out there who think that Antisemites only hate "religious" Jews (something I call "The 'Miss Daisy'" syndrome after the character in "Driving Miss Daisy" who couldn't understand why her reform temple was bombed when there was an Orthodox synagogue nearby), wake up. Keep just one Shabbat, eat just one meal at a kosher restaurant, buy only kosher food for one week, show the world that bullying won't make us give up our precious way of life. And maybe, just maybe, putting all that goodness out there will reach up to G-d and show G-d we're ready to work with Him/Her. We can do it if we only work together.

[Thank you to "Michelle Nevada" for the idea in the last paragraph. Thank you to the writers of M*A*S*H for the title of this blog entry]